Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
2nd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

Royal Spring

Suwannee County

Summary of Features

  • Scale -2nd magnitude (estimated)
  • Scenery - very good
  • How Pristine? - developed swimming/recreation area; steps, paths,parking area, boat ramp nearby
  • Swimming - fine
  • Protection - excellent
  • Crowds - very heavy on warm weekends
  • Access - precise directions necessary
  • Facilities - fair
  • Safety - good
  • Scuba - yes
  • Cost - free

Directions

From the intersection of US 27 and US 129 in Branford, follow US 129 north for 5.5 miles. Turn west on CR 349 and go 8.9 miles to the turnoff onto 198th Terrace, where there is a sign. Continue 0.7 mile to the turn onto unpaved 157th Lane, which leads into the park, which is officially called the Hugh Byron Hollingsworth, Sr. County Park.

Spring Description

Royal Spring is countersunk to the surrounding landscape and has steep limestone and dirt walls on the north and east sides. The spring forms a large and attractive basin that is about 125 by 175 feet in diameter. In times of normal or low water levels, limestone is exposed at the surface and the water is blue and clear (although not as clear as many other springs). At other times, the water can be greenish with poor visibility. Water flows from a large cave entrance, approximately 50 feet deep at the base of sheer limestone wall on the east side of the spring. The bottom tapers upward from the cave entrance to the run.

The 200-foot run flows from the spring to the SW and discharges into the Suwannee River. When the river is low, water does not flow through the run to the river, but collects in small pools among the rocks. A wooden stairway leads down to flat rocks that stick up above the surface of the water. On the east side of the spring, the ruins of steep concrete retaining walls seem on the verge of falling into the water. The area around the spring is forested.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions

Worth the drive and searching to find, Royal is best visited on quiet days. It may be used as a jumping-off point for visiting nearby Suwannee Blue Spring which is just downriver on the same bank.

Nearby Springs